Post # 1
My sister is going to a wedding this summer. She knew the bride in grad school (that was about 4 years ago) and were friends at the time. Since then, they’ve hardly spoken to each other and have only been in contact recently because of the wedding. My sister doesn’t consider her one of her good friends, but is honored that she has been invited. The wedding is in a really expensive venue in Downtown Boston. The bride doesn’t have a registry meaning that she’ll expect monetary gifts. It’s what a lot of Chinese brides do since traditionally, guests just give money. Anyway, my sister is wondering what would be considered ok to give her. My sister is also bringing a date. Do you think $75 is suffice? How much would you give?
Post # 3
Yes I think $75 and a pretty card is plenty.
Post # 4
the last time I was in such a situation, I gave $150- $75 each from me and my date.
Post # 5
Depending on your sister’s financial situation but, I would give at least $200 if I can afford it. The wedding’s in Boston at an expensive venue, which means that $200 probably doesn’t cover her and her date’s plate. Regardless of how close I am to a person, if I’m attending their wedding, I try to aim for covering at least the cost of the plate.
Post # 6
my sister works at a non-profit job that doesn’t pay a whole lot. $200 might seem steep to her.
Post # 7
- Wedding: May 2008 - United Methodist Cathedral & historic downtown hotel in Cleveland
I think that $75 is totally sufficient.
Wedding gifts do not need to cover the cost of the plate.
Post # 8
I think it is a mistake when guests try to "pay for their ticket" by giving a gift equalling what was spent on them at the wedding. Regardless of the price of the affair, a gift should be freely given based on how dear the receiver is to them and their situation in how much they can afford to give. Similarly, a couple should not invite guests to try to recoup the costs of their wedding, but ask special people to share in the joy of their day without expecting something in return.
Post # 9
I think $75 is cheap. Hate to say it…especially when she’s bringing a date. I would say at least $100, $150 is better. We went to a Chinese wedding last year; they were our good friends…our group of friends gave at least $200 (per couple) to the couple.
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2007 - Bride's family summer home in the Adirondacks
I think $75 is fine. We got a wide wide variety of values of gifts, based on the giver’s income, age, location in the country, and closeness to us. And we weren’t offended by anyone being stingy since, well, everyone gave according to their means – and it’s not like they HAD to give us anything! It’s still a gift!!!
I also strongly disagree with the pay for your plate concept. If I have two friends and one wishes to have a $200/plate wedding and the other has a backyard barbeque, I consider that their personal choice based on what style wedding they want to have. I didn’t get any say in how expensive they want their wedding to be, so that doesn’t have any bearing whatsoever on my gift to them. If I love them equally, they get the same value gift, and if I’m closer to the one with the cheap barbeque, then she gets a higher one. Just because they want to spend their own money on a formal occasion doesn’t mean I "owe" them anything for their personal decision.
Post # 11
I don’t do monetary gifts. If the bride and groom haven’t bothered to actually register, I go out and buy them a nice pair of glass candlesticks (usually something antique, like Fostoria). I figure everyone can use a nice pair of candlesticks, and if they are not to their tast, that serves them right for not registering. A nice pair of Fostoria candlesticks can go from $75 to $150, depending…
For someone I was friends with in school, but don’t really see socially anymore, if I actually went to the wedding at all I wouldn’t spend more than $100 from FI and I together.
When you say that your sister doesn’t consider her a good friend, that kind of says it all, right? You shouldn’t spend more than you can comfortably afford on any wedding gift, regardless of the price of the meal you are being served. You definately shouldn’t put yourself out financially for someone who has barely bothered to talk to you for four years. And in fact you have no obligation to "cover your plate." The bride and groom should be inviting you for the pleasure of your company, not for the gift you bring. If you somehow think you are being invited primarily for the gift – really just RSVP with your regrets!
Post # 12
I think your sister should give when she can afford.
Keeping in mind that the point of having guests is to entertain them not get gifts from them!! I really don’t see the need to give extravagant gifts at weddings, especially considering most couples are already established and have jobs and houses. I think couples need to focus less of what they’re getting for their wedding and more on enjoying the ceremony of their union and the presence of their friends and family.
I’m sure whatever your sister gives will be sufficient. I see no problem with $75, but that’s my personal opinion!
good luck 🙂
Post # 13
I also think $75 is too little. Will your sister know anyone at the wedding? If so, maybe she can go without her date.
Post # 14
- Wedding: November 2007 - Radisson Hotel
I totally agree with Bluebell and Suzanno. First of all, pay-for-plate seems like such an outdated form of gifting to me. In the days of "shabby chic" weddings where things seem cheaper than they really are, how are you even supposed to know how much a wedding is costing a person? Should you do a rough poll of the going rates for wedding dinners in the area of the wedding you’re attending? Why not just ask the bride and groom how much they are paying for you so you can repay them! (said in jest, of course)
I really think you should give what you’re able to afford, and any decent person wouldn’t judge you on how much you’re spending for a gift, after all, you’re invited as a guest. And a gift is just that- a gift and not an obligation. We had a ton of people not bring gifts to our wedding, we also had a ton of people who gifted TOO much for our wedding. Everyone got the same thank you card because we wanted to thank them for attending, as we invited them for their presence, not their gifts.
Your sister is just fine giving the 75.00, if her friend has any idea what she does for a living, then she knows she’s giving what she can afford. And really, a couple should always register for something, even if it’s all little things. I know a lot of people disagree with that, since a lot of couples live together before marriage, but I don’t think it’s okay for a couple to not give you a choice for what to give them- I like Dahlia’s way of gifting in that example.
Post # 15
I have a different take on this. While I think $75 is more than fine, I don’t agree with the OP’s assumption that because the couple is not registered does not mean they are fishing for cash. It could really mean that they have everything they want!
If your sister is uncomfortable giving cash, a gift certificate to a restaurant is a nice alternative. One of our friends did this and it was so nice – basically the gift of a date night!
If the wedding is not until the summer, maybe the couple is planning to register but hasn’t gotten around to it yet. We didn’t register until March for our May wedding. Not everyone is so on top of things
Post # 16
Chrissie has a good point. I know that some people register way in advance – our goal is to be registered before we send our actual invitations. For people who are super on-the-ball and want to start shopping once they get the STD, oh well.
And on the issue of pay-for-plate – I received an invitation this weekend to a cake-and-punch reception in a church hall, for the 20-something kids of the guy who does maintenance for our building at work. I certainly plan to give more than enough to cover my cake and punch! I think the value of the gift should be keyed to your closeness to the couple and the hosts, not to the money they spent to entertain you.